Today’s Headlines

  • Traffic Calming, Driver Enforcement Coming to 17th St. in Buena Vista/Cole Valley (SF Examiner)
  • SFPD Program to Raise Fines for Bicycling Violations But Offer Classes Instead (Examiner.com)
  • EIR for Luxury Condo Project at 8 Washington Clears Planning Commission (SF Examiner)
  • Three Injured in Car Crash on Brotherhood Way Near Parkmerced (ABC 7)
  • Cuts to School Buses Force SF Students to Take Muni (KALW)
  • Daily “Duh”: Parking Minimums Create Too Many Spaces (Atlantic Cities)
  • Senator Boxer Warns of House Transportation Bill’s Urgency (SFGate)
  • Challenge Comes In Tainted SF DUI Cases (CBS 5)
  • John King: Fisherman’s Wharf Needs Sidewalks, Not Asphalt (SFGate)
  • Atlantic Cities Explores the Future of Intelligent Parking Technology
  • G.M. Turns to MTV for Help in Keeping Young People Hooked on Cars (NYT)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Anonymous

    Re: SFPD Program to Raise Fines for Bicycling Violations But Offer Classes Instead

    Why do we need to raise fines for bicyclists? It’s odd to me to see a city that wants 20% of trips taking by bicycle in just 8 years further discouraging cyclists. This measure is wholly inappropriate and disproportionate. If, for example, we had a problem with cyclists causing carnage on the streets (though this will never happen because of the physics involved, but I’ll play devil’s advocate), then I would understand this. But since cyclists actually make the city *safer*, why the hell does the city arbitrarily decide to raise fees?

  • mikesonn

    I bike EMB every day, it has been getting progressively worse. The ferry building now puts out cones in the bike lane (to what end, I’m not sure, I just take the right traffic lane for the whole of the ferry building). And now there is a new charter bus service that likes to park right 
    here and not pull all the way in. So just as I’m coming back into the bike lane (or should be) after the crazy FB crap, I have to extend my stay in the traffic lane and further aggravate the aggressive drivers behind me.

    Please fill out this survey, but something needs to be done with EMB between Mission and Washington ASAP, not when (or more likely if) we get a separated bike lane.
    sfbike.org/embarcadero

  •  In the article it’s not clear which moving violations it plans to target. It says:
    “We are aiming for a cultural change,” explained Captain Al Casciato of
    the Traffic Company, a division of the San Francisco Police Department,
    who expressed hope that education about the risks associated with
    certain road use patterns by some cyclists would help to change some
    dangerous  habits.”

    If SFPD plans to target bicyclists that fail to yield to pedestrians, that would be a good thing. I’m all for that. But coasting slowly through a four way stop when there is absolutely no one else around is not a dangerous habit. The only reason it is illegal is that the laws on the books have not been updated to be sensible for bicycles. Though I personally don’t do it, I have observed many, many bicyclists stop at a red light, wait until all traffic has passed, and then, when the coast is clear, cross. I am content to wait an extra fifteen seconds for my green, but the manner in which most bicyclists do it, it is not necessarily unsafe.

    Often bicyclists do things that one might define as “dangerous” such as ride the wrong way on a one-way street bike lane (I see this often on 14th street) or ride on the sidewalk. But this is often due to how poorly the street design accommodates bicycles. The answer is not to browbeat cyclists with tickets but to fix the problem until the behavior goes away. (People will generally choose a safe, smooth, obstacle-free bike lane over a bumpy, obstacle-filled sidewalk any day. And if a two-way bike lane is put in on a one-way street, then all of the sudden law-breaking goes away.)

    I acknowledge that there are some behaviors of some bicyclists that are dangerous and need to change. (Flying through a four-way stop heedless of everyone else who has stopped and is waiting to take their turn. Weaving through an intersection where cross traffic has the right of way and traffic has to swerve or slam on brakes to avoid selfish, inconsiderate, suicidal cyclist. Riding at night with no light, no reflectors and wearing all black!!!)  But much of what SFPD considers to be illegal on the part of cyclists is not, in fact, dangerous and most of it could be avoided entirely with better street design.

  • As a note, SFPD is in day 5 of a sting at the Townsend/Division rotary.

  • The Greasybear

    We must not allow SFPD to sell a biased status quo as some sort of beneficial “culture change.” SFPD has made a practice of insulating bad motorists from the consequences of their harmful behavior while indulging in harassment crusades against harmless bicyclists. Redoubling the harassment of cyclists is is not change. 

    A police-enforced “culture change” must focus enforcement on the most harmful road users, first and foremost. In San Francisco, that means motorists. SFPD must finally begin to enforce laws prohibiting motorists from hitting and harassing pedestrians and cyclists, as well as charging through occpupied crosswalks and shutting down bike lanes altogether. SFPD sees no violation in a van plowing over a pedestrian in the middle of a crosswalk, and pointedly refuses to open obstructed bike lanes to bicycle traffic–and we are supposed to support or trust a “culture” created by such a backward agency? 

  • Phoca2004

     How on earth is the FB management getting away with that cone BS. It seems like an appropriation of public space (street) for an ongoing private purpose. If it were a car lane being usurped they would never get away with it.

  • Gneiss

    We need a ‘cultural change’ from car drivers more than from cyclists.  Too many of them are only focused on how their behavior impacts other car drivers rather than vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians. 

    Take my pet peeve, signaling a turn.  CVC 21703 states that a driver shall signal their turn 100 ft. before turning.  I rarely see drivers signaling right turns at all.  And there is no enforcement of that statute at all as it represents a minimal danger to other cars on the road.  Yet, it is profoundly dangerous to pedestrians and cyclists who must judge when to cross a street based on the movement of cars stopped or rolling towards an intersection. 

    How about increasing the fine for that violation rather than hitting up cyclists for stop signs?

  • Gneiss

    Sorry I mean CVC 22108 🙂

  • no – decrease the fine to ten bucks but enforce the hell out of it.

  • Smith

    Every day pick up a cone and deposit it elsewhere. Eventually they will get really tired of replacing all the cones they have left in the traffic lanes.

  • Anonymous

     Apparently the 8 Washington St. project was just approved with hundreds of additional parking spaces “for the ferry building”. Maybe now the street parking on the east side of the Embarcadero can be turned into a bike lane. Would require some cement/street furniture moving, though.